How to get around Madrid

Getting around Madrid by Bus
AngelLuisma || Istockphoto

You can have a place to stay and an endless list of attractions to go to, but the only way you’ll be able to enjoy your visit is if you have a basic understanding of Madrid transport and can use that to navigate the city. Fortunately, learning how to get around Madrid isn’t that difficult, and with a few tips, you can travel through the area easily.  After all, the city offers so many options – you can use the Madrid Bus, hop on the metro Madrid, or even use taxis, aerobuses, and cars to ensure you can get from one stop to the next without worry.

The metro Madrid can be presented as the lifeline of the city’s extensive transportation, for it weaves its way through the city’s different key points, locations, and sections. The extensive network of lines allows this underground system to be the perfect option for locals and tourists. Whether you’re heading to Atocha, exploring the Gran Via, or marveling at the Puerta del Sol, the metro Madrid has a line for you. There are twelve lines on the basic metro and four other related lines, and each line crosses over to different parts of the city. 

Line 1, for example, moves from Chamartin Pine Forest to Valdecross, going through Gran Via and Sol, while line 12 goes from South Gate all the way to Saint Nicasius, with many stops in between. The metro Madrid requires a public transport card to use. It must then be loaded with the metro ticket that you intend to use. 

In this case, you can choose the single ticket, which must be used the day it is purchased. A Public Transport Card can only load up to 10 single tickets at a time. You can also select a second option if you’re looking for a more feasible option when you use the metro regularly; you can choose the ten-journey tickets, of which, again, you can only load up to 10. The cost for the Metro single ticket is either €1.50 at the lowest or €2.00. A combined single ticket reaches €3.00. On the other hand, a 10-trip ticket can be either €5.60 or €6.10 depending on the zone, and a combined ticket for this is €9.10.

Additionally, you can also buy the 30-day transport pass for a longer visit, which increases as the zones change, with €21.80 for zone A to €52.70 for E2. As for metro Madrid hours, the lines run from 6 A.M. to 1:30 A.M., after which the transfer from lines is not assured. 

Beyond the Tracks – The Madrid Bus Network

If the metro isn’t your choice of transport, you can also try discovering the Madrid bus network, which is another key player in the city’s public transport tapestry. The Madrid bus system has over 2000 buses operating daily on 200 lines, all of which are spread over 3000 km and 10,000 steps. To operate through the city using the Madrid bus, you’ll need a Madrid bus ticket, which is divided into various ticket options for the traveler:

  • For €1.50, you can buy a one-way ticket for the bus. You can also buy this single ticket on the bus – this is the only ticket you can buy on-bus. 
  • The Madrid Aerobus ticket, however, costs €5.00 because it takes an express route to their airport. 
  • For €12.20, you can purchase a Metrobus ticket, which is valid for ten trips and applies for both the metro and the bus. 
  • For a 10-trip ticket with transfer, the Madrid bus ticket will cost €18.30. 

The running time for these buses is from early in the day, 6 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. at late night, but if you’re out till later, you can check the Night buses, which operate from 11:55 P.M. to 5:50 A.M. every night.

Getting around Madrid by metro
David Monje || Unsplash

On Rails – Using the Madrid Train 

Madrid transport isn’t just limited to the metro or the bus. In fact, it expands itself to include the train, as well, which offers essential connectivity to the city, especially if you’re considering traveling longer distances, like from central locations where most tourists tend to stay to (the last stop) Atocha, which boasts a number of museums, traditional Spanish restaurants, and more. To figure out how to get around Madrid using the train, you’ll need to consider all the variables, including the Madrid train lines, ticket prices, and service hours. 

If you consider the Renfe service, the Madrid train consists of 9 lines, all of which either start from or end at Atocha station. The trains begin operating every day after 5 A.M. and stop operating at midnight, running every 10-30 minutes for easy use. As for the ticket prices, they vary according to the distance that you’re traveling as well as the zone you’re in. 

  • For zones 1 and 2, the price is €1.70.
  • For zone 3, the cost rises to €1.85.
  • For zone 4, the cost is €2.60.
  • For zone 5, the price is €3.40.
  • For zone 6, the cost is €4.05.
  • For zone 7, it is €5.50. 
  • Finally, for green zones, the cost is set at €8.70.

Taxi Madrid and Other Alternative Options

If no other Madrid public transport works for you, the other option you have is to utilize the Taxi Madrid, which is a good alternative as an extensive door-to-door service, meaning you’ll be able to explore a comfortable and personalized journey at your own pace. You can recognize the taxi Madrid via the white car body and the diagonal red band on the front door, and you can hail them anywhere in the city. There are more than 15,000 at large, so you won’t have a problem with accessibility. 

The cost varies depending on the time (per hour) and the distance you travel (per kilometer) in this Madrid transport car. The minimum fare is €2.50 on Mondays to Fridays, 6 A.M. to 9 P.M., and €3.15 at any other time. 

Getting around Madrid by taxi
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